Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says England blew their World Cup by relying too much on Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.
While fans in England remain bitterly disappointed at Rooney’s failure to reproduce his stunning Manchester United form in a Three Lions shirt, Wenger insists the best sides at the World Cup worked as a team.
He said: “You can’t create a team for a World Cup in one month. The countries which relied on their stars were wrong. The individual technical level has improved, but the collective level has not been so great. The truth is that at the World Cup, to be competitive you must have a thick midfield. That area has been reinforced at the cost of a second forward. The Germans were the only ones who seemed to be able to score at any moment. They have rehabilitated the dribble.”
Wenger also blames modern technology for the failure of many countries’ squads to bond ahead of, and during, the tournament.
England’s players complained of being bored in what is perceived to have been a boot camp under Capello.
Wenger added: “We saw how it is difficult for national team players to live together. I have players in a lot of different teams and the echoes are all the same: ‘There is a new problem: how can we spend 40 days all together…’ The players entered an era of distant communication thanks to the internet or phones, but they don’t talk anymore together. Each team that reached the semi-finals has been built on a very good collective and on very good World Cup qualifiers. Germany, Netherlands and Spain had the collective experience. You can’t create a team for a World Cup in one month.”